Massachusetts CNA and HHA Certification Requirements State of Massachusetts (MA)

by admin on July 3, 2019

Requirements for CNA and HHA Certification


In the state of MA, the American Red Cross is in charge of the “Nurse Assistant Home Health Aide” training programs. Their 75-hour training program runs for both types of aides. However, it stops there for HHAs who do not have recourse to state certification. They work as HHAs for non-medical home care agencies, assisting individuals in their homes.

Certified Nurse Assistants must sit for the state exam after completion of the 75-hour course and get registered at the Nurse Aide Registry. State-certified CNAs can then work in any environment that includes skilled nursing, such as long term care facilities, rehab centers, and hospitals.

It thus follows that all state-certified CNAs can also work as HHAs, but not the other way around.

Note: Fed regulations require certified aides who work in Medicare or Medicaid-reimbursed facilities to accumulate 12 hours of continuing education per 12 month period.

We list the higher between Federal (Fed) and State requirements

Requirements CNA HHA
Work Eligibility Must be a citizen or someone eligible to work in the U.S., as per Fed regulations. same
Type of Certification You get listed on the State Nurse Aide Registry; The Registry gives out certificates and wallet-cards; you have to renew your certificate every 24 months. Your training diploma is sufficient for non-medical home care agencies
Application Form A filled application form is required together with training diploma, proof of eligibility to work as described above, background check, and money order. N/A
Age No age minimum is imposed. same
Driver’s License Driver’s license not required. Up to Employers.
Education Level You will not be required to have graduated high school; there will however be an English language  test. Some employers may require a high school diploma.
Training hours & where Must complete and pass the Red Cross training course of75 hours of classes (including practical training). same
Competence Training At least 16 out of the 75 hours have to be in hands-on or practical training. same
Experience No prior professional experience required. Most employers (non-medical home care agencies) will require one year’s experience as a professional companion.
Health Immunizations A negative TB test taken within 6 months and proof of immunization. same
Fingerprints Aides must submit fingerprint cards for the background checks. same
Background checks Applicants for the state exam are given state and Fed background checks before they get certified. HHAs will need to submit to background checks.
Other Requirements Photo ID and two photos, a money order, immunization results, and training diploma. Each employer has their own requirements.
Licensed in another state? MA offers reciprocity based on equivalent training courses. Aides coming from other states may sit for the practical exam only. same
Exam It is the Certified Nursing Assistant Exam, in two parts, 60 questions of written and scenario-based practical exam. N/A


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